Thursday, 28 March 2013

Early results show Merseyside's birds are in trouble

Merseyside gardens vital for some of our most threatened birds
RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch results 2013

Some of the UK s most threatened and best-loved bird species are
continuing to decline in Merseyside, according to results from the
RSPB s annual Big Garden Birdwatch survey 2013, released today
[Thursday 28 March, 2013].

Starlings, a UK  red-listed  species meaning it is of the highest
conservation concern, hit an all-time low in the Birdwatch last year
and their numbers dropped a further 19% in Merseyside gardens this

Numbers of house sparrows, also on the red-list, dropped by 20% in
Merseyside gardens compared to 2012, whilst bullfinches and dunnocks,
both amber-listed, fell by 43% per cent and 17% respectively.

Martin Harper, RSPB Conservation Director, said;  We know from the many
people who take part in Big Garden Birdwatch every year that garden
birds are incredibly precious to us  and connect us to nature every
day.  I had the joy of doing the Birdwatch with my children again this
year and, fidgeting aside, it was one of those memorable mornings when
the family is captivated by nature.  But, several of our familiar and
best-loved species have been declining at alarming rates over the 34
years that the RSPB has been running the Birdwatch and this year s
results show a continuing decline. 

 We go to great lengths to ensure that special UK habitats are given
the right levels of designation and legal protection because of their
role in supporting threatened wildlife, but what s very clear is that
every one of our gardens, the places literally on our doorsteps, are
important too.

Almost 590,000 people across the UK, including 75,000 pupils and
teachers at schools, took part in the Birdwatch in January. In
Merseyside nearly 6,000 people participated in the survey.  

Whilst the decline of some species continued, others fared better with
garden sightings of siskins and fieldfares up in Merseyside gardens. 
The cold, harsh conditions in the wider countryside back in January is
likely to have driven more of these birds into gardens on their search
for food.

Martin continued;  Gardens make up around 4 per cent of land area in
the UK and their role as habitats for our wildlife is clear.  They are
the places that birds come to for food and shelter when conditions in
the countryside are especially tough and together, we can all play a
part in making them more welcoming and supportive for wildlife, whether
we have a garden full of greenery, a yard or a window box.

Do something now to help the wildlife in your garden, find out how at

find out more about Big Garden Birdwatch.

The RSPB s Big Garden Birdwatch is the world s biggest wildlife survey
with half a million people taking part each year.  Running for 34 years
the survey has made a major contribution to tracking garden bird
numbers over the winter

This table shows the top 10 birds seen in Merseyside gardens in 2013.


Average number per garden

1. Blackbird


2. House Sparrow


3. Starling


4. Blue Tit


5. Woodpigeon


6. Goldfinch


7. Collared Dove


8. Magpie




10. Feral pigeon


The RSPB speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that
threaten our environment. Nature is amazing - help us keep it that way

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered
charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654

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